The spacecraft lifted off from northwestern China at around 01:22 GMT on Thursday, further pushing China’s space program to compete with the United States.
China successfully launched Shenzhou 12-its first manned mission in five years-to further accelerate its space program to compete with the United States.
According to a live video broadcast by the state television station CCTV, Shenzhou 12, which means “Shenzhou”, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at about 1:22 AM GMT on Thursday.
This launch was carried out by the Long March 2 F carrier rocket.
The spacecraft carried three male astronauts-Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo.
In the CCTV live video, Shenzhou traveled through the earth’s atmosphere, following the critical separation of the four boosters, two of the three astronauts issued an “OK” gesture.
According to CCTV reports, after the spacecraft enters orbit, it will quickly and automatically “rendezvous and dock” with Tianhe, the core module of the orbiting space station.
The astronauts will be stationed in the core module and stay in orbit for three months.
China started building the space station in late April this year. Tianhe is the first and largest of the three modules of the space station.
Nie, a former air force pilot from central Hubei Province, is the leader of this mission.
According to Xinhua News Agency, Shenzhou 12 is Nie’s third space excursion after the 2005 Shenzhou 6 mission and the 2013 Shenzhou 10 mission.
This is Liu’s second space mission. His first was the Shenzhou VII mission in 2008, which included a landmark spacewalk. This is Tang’s first space journey.
China’s last manned mission was in 2016, when two people—Chen Dong and Jing Haipeng—were sent to Tiangong-2 via the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, which is the prototype of the space station. They later stayed there. For about a month.
Beijing’s goal is to become a major aerospace power by 2030, turning space into the latest frontier in competition with the United States.
In May of this year, two years after the first spacecraft landed on the back of the moon, it became the second country to send a rover to Mars.